- Member: EvilTom
- Studio: Otaku G Studios
- Title: AQUAthon AMV: An Aqua Marathon Video
- Premiered: 2007-09-16
- Aqua Candyman
- Aqua Cartoon Heroes
- Aqua My Oh My
- Aqua Turn Back Time
Wow. The Manifest 2007 Iron Chef AMV competition.
Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo
The secret (10 seconds compulsory) ingredient:
The Naruto manga scanlations
Ok, so when first confronted with the fact that I had to use *manga*, I was surprised, to say the least. I Had never seen Byousoku 5cm or Murder Princess, so that only left me with Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo and the... Naruto Manga. I'd seen Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo about a month before and absolutely loved it; I already had wanted to do an AMV using it to the music by Aqua, 'Turn Back Time', but hadn't started yet. As for the Naruto managa.. I wasn't really sure what to do.
Anyway, I got home about 6.30pm on the Satuday night, by the time I'd had some dinner and installed some codecs on the computer, it was 7om and time to start. I'd come up with the concept (rather last minute) to use only Aqua songs; here was my lineup:
Murder Princess: My oh My
Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo: Turn Back Time
Naruto Manga: Cartoon Heroes
I'd had a flick through Murder Princess, and although I'd never seen it, it looked like it would fit nicely with My oh My. I decided to incorporate my Turn Back Time idea, and doing this would be like a demo for when I did it properly with more time. The whole reason i came up with the Aqua concept was for the Naruto manga, so that I could put it with Cartoon Heroes; I felt that it was a song which would allow me to play with the manga as if it were an actual anime.
Anyway, I began first with the dreaded task of working with the Naruto manga.... and loved it. Hours passed quickly as I edited frames of manga in photoshop and put it to the music, which fitted it so well. I even found myself using special effects to simulate anime movement, something which added a small amount of flair. Anyway, I was quite proud with my efforts after spending way too many hours on it, and then moved onto Murder Princess.
I felt the lyrics and music style fitted the King/Princess theme brilliantly. I love the lines
"Little princess in a terrible mess,
a kingdom alone, with no love to confess"
and I really love what I managed to do with that little section of the video. I have no idea what the actual series is about (though working on this AMV has made me want to watch it), but I felt like I really conveyed something about the character, and the state of her kingdom as her father the king (maybe?) is killed.. twice? The AMV opens with a flashback to childhood where it seems her father is being killed? The story isn't really so important here, just the general feel I guess. I used a bunch of special effects to give it the flashback theme, grainy film etc, and then a red overlay for blood. And when the other king dies, I used a negative effect whic I'm fond of for that psychological snap (I used it in my NHK video).
The fight scene wasn't anything special, but I like the way Rene seems to be voicing the knight who appears to 'rob from the rich' and then 'run away'... I'm guessing that character is her brother or something, from the eye closeup and the fact she can't finish him... Well who knows, it looked interesting :3 I used a bunch of strobe effects, which is something I havn't done in a long time, not since... probably my first AMV. I had to do it manually by cutting out frames since I couldn't figure out how to do it in Vegas, but I found it was probably better that way anyway, since I could synch it to the little music graph thingy. Actually, strobing is just so... mandatory when it comes to Aqua, I found. There's a lot of beat, and it's very pop, so I did it again a little in Cartoon Heroes.
Turn Back Time was last, and it showed. It was the only part of the AMV that the judge's weren't super fond of, mainly because my editing was sloppy. And it was. I finished the AMV at 5am, and I really wanted to get a bit of sleep... so I ended up being a bit half-arsed with my favourite concept of the video, and I slepped together some of the saddest and hardest-hitting scenes to the music. That said, it wasn't tooooo bad. I promsied the judges and audience that I would re-do it as a proper video, and I've promised it to myself, and I will do it. I really love this movie, and putting it to that music was almost tear-inducing...
Wow, my comments get longer and longer!
Anyway, started at 7pm, finished at 5am Sunday, took 30 minutes to render and burn, so got to bed around 5.30am. Did it all in Vegas 7, and I had to convert all the DivX video into RAW VIDEO to work with it... which took a while (and a huge amount of hard disk space), but I feel it's worth it since you get better quality, and it's a lot faster to work with.
When my video played, I was happy with it. And then the audience! The applause was.... huge. I was quite shocked and awed as I took the stage to receive my comments from the judges.
Anyway, I didn't win, but I don't mind. As with last year, everyone appreciated my work, and many people told me they thought I should have won. That's winning enough for me... but... I did recieve some information from somebody in the know that it was a close contest! Hopefully I'll be back next year to take the #1 Iron chef apron, or at least give it another try and have a damn good amount of fun trying!
On the other videos: Most of them were rather pretty... but I was disappointed that all of those ones completely avoided using the manga in a creative way at all. I was super-impressed by the Dro Who themed video, which used the manga panels extremely effectively... but it was unfinished :( If that video had been finished properly (if more time had been spent on it, less time sleeping and drinking) then it should have won. A lot of the other Iron Chefs condemned Mark (the organiser) for making us use the manga, but I found it to be a fun challenge, one which I met and in the words of one of the judges, "nailed with a sledgehammer".